Chemistry Professor Coray Colina Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award
Department of Chemistry professor Coray Colina recently received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to pursue innovative research and teach abroad in Mexico for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Colina was selected as a Fulbright-García Robles Science and Technology senior scholar, and was awarded one of the four grants that are provided annually on this category. With the award, Colina will conduct research on molecular chimeras for opioid receptor modulators and serve as a lecturer at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City.
Colina is one of over 800 U.S. citizens chosen as a recipient of an award for the 2020-2021 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Fulbright Award recipients engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions.
During her time at UNAM, Colina will study methods of achieving high-performance bioconjugate-based drug delivery systems for opioid receptor modulators, while also lecturing on the fields of computational chemistry and biomaterials to students at the university.
Colina’s research will combine state-of-the-art computational materials chemistry and quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) methods with the goal of enabling the next-generation of opioid receptor modulators for delivery in the body via the gastrointestinal tract. These modulators influence two main aspects of public health — the treatment of severe pain and the alteration of mood and emotions. The abuse of these compounds has become a severe public health problem with massive societal, economic and political implications.
“This Fulbright appointment at UNAM will allow me to not only perform research on the crucial area of opioids,” Colina said, “but to develop pedagogical materials for use at UNAM and at UF so that we can effectively prepare the next generation of students to work on this and similar medical related projects. I’m looking forward to this new endeavor and what it will allow me to accomplish for the Gator Nation!”
At UF, Colina is also the principal investigator for the Computational Biophysics and Soft Materials Research Group, which strives to understand and predict structure-property-dynamic relations in functional materials, such as polymeric membranes, biomolecules and alternative ionic liquids. To learn more about her research, visit https://colina.chem.ufl.edu/.